Beau only took a photo of me during my cool down set, I'm not actually this weak, ahha!
5 myths about women and weight training, by Beau Bressington.
So I would say about 70% of my clients are females, and I would do at least 1 weights session a week with all of them. Building muscle and getting strong are a staple in any exercise program. Muscles do a lot more than just look nice, they provide structure and warmth to the body, burn fat, move your body place to place and protect your organs as well!
I get questions all the time about training, here are a few myths solved for you ladies wanting the gains… brah.
1) "Doing weights makes me fat." No, it doesn't. Eating cupcakes and burritos makes you fat. "But when I do weights I get bulky!" Well lets go back to the first blog I did. You are most likely a mesomorph or an endomorph, you will gain weight faster. So the intake of what you eat is important. If you are still eating relatively similar or more than what you were before, you will gain weight. A 45-min weight training session will burn approximately 300-400 calories.
2) "If I do weights I'll look like a man, yuck." No Becky, you won't, you are a woman and doing a weight session 1-3 times a week isn't going to make you look like Arnie. Women produce a hormone called oestrogen, which limits the ability to build muscle, whereas men have a lot more testosterone. Both men and women have more or less of each hormone, but the girls you see in body building comps train every day, use a lot of supplements (some are not even legal) and have very strict food plans.
3) "Does protein make me put on weight?" No, like I said, cupcakes and burritos do! But… relating back to the first post again, if you eat more than you are meant to with any diet (regardless of whether this is 'bad' or 'good' food) you will put on weight. There are so many different types of protein supplements out there as well which all do different things, so if you're going to use one of those, make sure you get the right one for you.
4) "High reps are for toning." 'Toning' isn't really a thing, looking toned is. To look toned means to decrease the fat mass laying over a muscle and to increase the muscle. This can be achieved by having a balanced fitness routine with cardio, weights and a good eating program. Choose the program which suits your body type. The number of reps you do is important though. If you are a beginner I would recommend doing about 10 reps in each set for the first 8 weeks until your body has adapted to the technique and weight. In general, reps work 3-7 for strength, 8-15 for mass and 16+ for muscle endurance.
5) "My arms are flabby, so I'll do some arm exercises to burn the fat." NO! In fact, that would make them bigger! Whilst doing the exercise will burn calories (ultimately which 'can' burn the fat around your arms, as long as you have a great food plan too), a bicep curl won't spot reduce the fat on your arms. There are other ways to tackle places that store more fat than other areas on your body, and that's by managing your hormones better. For instance, women who store more fat than usual in their arms tend to have a higher amount of oestrogen in their system. There are some exercises which can help lower your oestrogen levels, such as deadlifts and squats. For some women, very high oestrogen levels (which can be affected by birth control etc) can also have an effect on your mental ability to exercise, or even to be motivated at all. If this is you, and you think the world is about to end and have zero motivation and are depressed, talk to your doctor.
If you have any questions or myths you want busted, leave a comment below!